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Name Michael Essien
Gender Male
Ethnic Ghanaian
Job Ghanaian Footballer
Desc A complete midfielder who would have mixed it with Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira in their prime. The Ghanaian was immense as a box-to-box presence during perhaps the peak years in the league’s history. His bending strike against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge stands out as one of his finest moments


Org Ghana National Team
Club as Player Persib
  Chelsea FC

2019 08 06 Retrieve

[Ex-Ghana midfielder Michael Essien not ruling out a move to the PSL] South Africa is not bad, I would like to come here. You can never say never, I am keeping my options open. I love football, I love football…I have played it my whole life. So, I am not thinking about retirement at all (for now). I don’t know [why South Africa hasn’t exported many players]. In football you can’t really explain what’s going wrong. On a personal level, I think they have to just keep pushing and working hard. Take their chances and see what happens. However, I think they did well because they beat Egypt

2020 05 18 Retrieve

[Former Chelsea star Essien reveals frustrations with Di Matteo forced Real Madrid move] Every injury I had when I was playing for Chelsea I came back stronger. I remember my first injury was around September 2008, I came back much stronger and took my position in the team. 2010 was the same but when Villas-Boas came, I was unlucky because I was part of his plans. I knew him long ago because he worked with Jose [Mourinho]. I was part of his plans but then I got injured so I didn’t play any game for him. I returned from injury and played like just five minutes for him so he didn’t really have a chance to work with me. Another coach that was very good to me was [Carlo] Ancelotti. He’s one of the best but he was unlucky because I started the season with him but didn’t finish. The second year I didn’t start but finished with him so he got only like a year from me which was sad. It was due to injuries.

[The season before Essien’s departure, the Ghanaian helped Chelsea reach the final of the Champions League but only watched from the bench as the Blues, under Di Matteo beat Bayern Munich to lift the trophy for a historic first time] Di Matteo came and obviously I was coming back from injury and I remember we played a Champions League [first leg] game against Napoli and we lost. It was an away game. I think that was the last game for Villas-Boas. The return game, Di Matteo made the decision to put all the big boys in the game - Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Claude Makelele and me,and we won [4-1] after extra time and qualified. A couple of weeks later, he said I was not match fit which I didn’t appreciate because if that’s the case, why did I play 120 minutes some few weeks ago against Napoli? But anyway everyone sees things differently so I didn’t mind because I was working for the team. That’s when things started declining because I felt a bit down, but then I had gotten an opportunity to go to Real Madrid so I proved to them that I’m back. I was playing at right-back at Real Madrid which was one of the most difficult positions on the pitch but I managed to do it

2020 05 19 Retrieve

[Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has revealed he could have become a Liverpool player when they were managed by Gerard Houllier but opted instead to continue his development at Bastia] I had lot of offers [when I was at Bastia]. I was close to signing for Liverpool when Gerard Houllier was their coach. I even went to Melwood to meet the coach. We had a talk and I returned to France but the offers were still coming. PSG, Olympique Marseille et al, but I told Bastia I didn’t want to move and they also didn’t want to sell me at that time because they wanted me to stay for another year which was fine with me because I also didn’t want to leave the club

[He eventually left Bastia at the end of the 2002/03 season but decided to remain in France] I thought it was too early to move to England. That was why I joined Lyon and later moved to Chelsea under Mourinho [in 2005]. Lyon were my favourite team when I went to France because they were winning everything. I told my agent that if Lyon have come into the picture I’d like to join them.’

2020 05 21 Retrieve

[Essien reveals rush to join Real Madrid] We had to change our plans because we were about to leave the hotel to the stadium to play Atletico Madrid. Real Madrid were doing their [negotiating] with my agent and I was in the bus as we were about to leave to the stadium. [My agent] said he had to send some fax to some people so I had to shout at the bus driver to stop like some mad man. All my teammates were looking at me like: “Michael what’s going on?” The bus stopped and I went back to the hotel to wait for my agent. My agent came and sent the fax and thankfully everything got finalised on time

[With the deal completed, Essien went to the stadium after the game to collect his belongings] I joined my teammates on the pitch but some of them had heard the news that I was going to Madrid. I explained to them that this deal came up and I had to return to the hotel to finish the paperwork. So, in coming back to pick my boots. I had to tell them goodbye. After the [medals] ceremony, we went back to the dressing room where I properly wished them goodbye. I just took my shin pad and boots and that’s it. I said bye to everyone including [Roman] Abramovich, [who] wished me good luck. The next day I was on a plane to Madrid. I went to Madrid with just my boots, shin pads, one [pair of] jeans, one shirt and my Chelsea tracksuit